Child Bereavement UK has been funded by BMA Giving to produce guidance films for doctors working with bereaved families. 

The first is a short film with Dr Su Laurent, Child Bereavement UK’s Medical Advisor, with guidance for doctors supporting families when a child is not expected to live: For doctors: When a child is not expected to live 

A second film uses footage from interviews Child Bereavement UK has undertaken with bereaved parents, talking about the importance of communication from healthcare professionals and what helped them in hospital settings: For healthcare professionals: What bereaved families tell us about the importance of communication and the hospital experience 

The third film explores the experiences of children and families bereaved by suicide and what helped them cope: For healthcare professionals: What families tell us about being bereaved by suicide 

The aim of the films is to provide doctors with some key messages and first-hand experience from the perspective of grieving families so that doctors can learn from them and ultimately improve the care and support they offer.

Ann Chalmers, Chief Executive of Child Bereavement UK said:

Child Bereavement UK has 27 years’ experience of working with professionals, providing training and guidance to help them navigate the difficult work they do at the frontline of loss, grief and bereavement. We know from the professionals we train that the lived experience of the families we support can be incredibly powerful in helping to inform how they can best support them in their grief. We hope that these films will help doctors, nurses and medical students alike understand the positive impact that their clear communication and sensitive care can make.

 BMA Giving Chair Professor Dame Parveen Kumar said: 

Doctors, like their patients, are also human beings and having to inform someone of the death of their son or daughter is one of thew hardest things any medical professional will ever have to do. 

Learning from patients and their families is critical to developing and ensuring good medical practice and I believe that these new films will play a critical role in guiding doctors in how they can listen, engage and best support those who have been recently bereaved.

BMA’s free and confidential 24/7 counselling and peer support services are open to all doctors and medical students (regardless of BMA membership), plus their partners and dependents, on 0330 123 1245.  

To find out more about Child Bereavement UK’s training, resources, and Helpline for professionals and families, go to:


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Notes for Editors

Child Bereavement UK: Child Bereavement UK helps children, parents and families to rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies. We support children and young people up to the age of 25 who are facing bereavement, and anyone impacted by the death of a child of any age.

Child Bereavement UK provides training to professionals in health and social care, education, the voluntary and corporate sectors, equipping them to provide the best possible care to bereaved families.

Email: [email protected]